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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Explained: Who is Ajay Mishra, Union Minister at centre of Lakhimpur Kheri incident?

Ajay Mishra’s induction into the crucial Home Ministry came at a time when every party is fighting for the Brahmin vote ahead of the UP polls, and BJP especially is fighting allegations of anti-Brahmin bias in the state. 

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 13, 2021 3:34:36 pm
Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra speaks to media outside BJP office in Lucknow, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (PTI Photo/Nand Kumar)

Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra (Teni), who is at the centre of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, was inducted into the Union Cabinet recently.

Mishra, the lone Brahmin face from Uttar Pradesh to find a place in the Cabinet during the reshuffle exercise, is a two-term MP from Lakhimpur Kheri.

Mishra’s induction into the crucial Home Ministry came at a time when every party is fighting for the Brahmin vote ahead of the UP polls, with the BJP especailly fighting allegations of having anti-Brahmin bias in the state.

Born in Lakhimpur Kheri on September 25, 1960, Mishra was educated at Christ Church College and DAV College, Kanpur. He holds BSc and LLB degrees.

Mishra first became an MP was in 2014, winning by 1 lakh votes over his nearest BSP rival. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he doubled his victory margin, to over 2 lakh votes, against an SP candidate.

Party leaders told The Indian Express earlier that Mishra used to be an office-bearer in the BJP’s Lakhimpur Kheri unit, before winning as an MLA from the Nighasan Assembly segment of Lakhimpur Kheri constituency in 2012.

Since 2014 when he was elected for his first term as an MP, Mishra has been a member of several parliamentary committees, including Standing Committee on Rural Development, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Skill Development And Entrepreneurship, Committee of Parliament on official language, Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

On Sunday, four farmers were among eight persons killed in Lakhimpur Kheri after a convoy of three SUVs, including one owned by Mishra, hit a group of farm protesters leading to a clash. The farm leaders claimed Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish was driving one of the SUVs.

On Monday, the police registered an FIR on charges of murder against Ashish.

Mishra has said that his son was not present on the spot at the time of the incident.

Speaking in his son’s defence, the MoS had earlier said, “We aren’t aware of how the incident happened. Based on information and videos, it’s visible that the driver was killed after being pulled out of the car. If it were my son, he’d have been dead. It’s impossible to get out of a place where a car ran over people amid a gathering of thousands.”

For the first time since the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, Mishra attended office in the Ministry of Home Affairs at North Block on Wednesday.

He also met Home Minister Amit Shah for about 40 minutes and discussed the situation arising out of Sunday’ incident and the possible ways to tackle it, sources said.

“While in his office he was largely accompanied by his personal secretary and interacted with his staff. He did not hold any official meetings,” a home ministry official told The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, a media invite for an event, scheduled for Thursday in which Mishra was the chief guest and was supposed to deliver a speech, has been “cancelled”.

A media officer for the Bureau of Police Research and Development told PTI that the programme was being put on “hold and the invitation may be treated as cancelled”. The event is related to the two-day 7th national conference of heads of prisons of all states and Union Territories.

(With inputs from ENS)

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